Viking and burning building

8 Lessons in Manhood From the Vikings

What we think of men today is far different from what men used to be, and what men were meant to be. Men were once warriors and farmers. They were leaders and kings. They were strong, smart, and dangerous. They conquered and they defended. There was a time when the TV remote wasn’t yet invented and the sword was handled in its stead. A time when a man’s ambition determined how high he would rise, how many men he would lead, and how many lands he would conquer.

Conquer.

To be ambitious in times past meant you had to bring yourself closer to death’s door on a more frequent occurrence. Any man, if he didn’t want to rise and instead remain with his family, protecting them, providing for them – which is of course incredibly admirable – could live a longer life, possibly a more enjoyable one, and the same can be said today. The difference, however, is again with the ambitious ones, those not satisfied with what they can do and completely consumed by doing what they can’t.

Sure, ambitious men of today risk more than their unambitious colleagues, they fail more and attempt more, but men of past cultures, like that of the Vikings, if ambition was a fire that burned in their hearts, had to quench this thirst with the sword or the axe in battle and in blood, fighting fellow warriors with the same thirst and the same fire, finding new lands yet to be discovered by their kind to feed the flame that still blazes in so many of our hearts today.

This flame hasn’t faded or died down but our ability to feed it with the physicality of battle and of victory and of death, possibly the only true way to feed that ambitious fire, has.

Ambition has changed. Our methods for carrying it out have evolved, but the thirst still has the same core, we want to conquer. Of course we want to aid and help and provide something to our fellow man, but many of us, though the times don’t allot us the same violent victory, want to rise up, literally, standing on the bodies of our enemies, sitting on the throne, leading the warriors who fight for us and beside us conquering an unjust ruler and promising to be a just one.

Business is exciting, it’s a thrill. To see something you’ve worked so hard at for so long come together and begin to grow and help and be of some service to the people you’re trying to benefit is a wondrous feeling. You feel like a conqueror, but what if you were an actual conqueror; one who has come so close to death on so many occasions that you’ve accepted it’s inevitability which has allowed you to live as men were always meant to live? With urgency. What if you killed and escaped death and worked your way up the ranks of your village to become its leader, its king, now able to do more for your people than the previous leader ever dared?

That physicality of a battle won, of flesh pierced and sliced and lives lost no longer exists in the ambitious endeavors of men although they aim to conquer still the same. Death sucks, I’m not fond of it, nor do I want to bring it back in the quantities that it once existed, but death, when so prevalent and immediate, does something incredible to life. It makes it more urgent, more present, more fierce and passionate.

Today’s “man” would, by-in-large, fair poorly in a culture such as that of the Vikings’. Our brains are no bigger, our capacity for intelligence no greater, we’ve merely been given knowledge that has been built up and compounded over hundreds of years. Our toughness, our grit, however, are both diminished beyond recognition.

Our fear of death so great that it prevents us from living.

Our fear of danger just as grand as it inhibits our adventures and tempers our risk. Our fear of pain has grown to dangerous proportions where we now protect our young from any semblance of it or of danger in a vain attempt to keep them completely from any ounce of harm.

In short, we’re pussies. Our society, everything that it covers and intrudes into, our parenting, schooling, and even our “everyone wins” athletics, has weakened us to the point where I’m not sure that Viking men, for example, would see us as men, but as some clone or similar species that lacks what a man has, courage, honor, a warrior’s spirit.

Though we’re in a pitiful state, we are not doomed as toughness can always be regained and grit re-learned. Today these attributes have to be self-taught and self-imposed as society seems to be doing all it can to shelter us from how the world truly is and who men truly are. And so, guys like me, and many who are much better, write about ways in which we can bring back our manliness, our shared heritage, our warrior’s spirit, our outlaw’s spirit, in a very necessary attempt to steer the ship in a better direction.

Let us, then, look to cultures past and take from them what we can to aid us in our own quest to become conquerers and warriors and leaders of men who are equally as great as we are, or better.

8 Lessons in Manhood From the Vikings

1. Accept death with open arms.

If death isn’t feared but instead welcomed there’s no limit to what you can accomplish and what you’ll aim to accomplish. Viking explorers ventured into uncharted seas to discover what was not yet known. We not only fear death but we fear the unknown and injury and failure and for shite’s sake we need to stop, and the end will start when we bring our greatest fear into the present.

Life expectancy has never been longer; as disease and war and death by the hands of another man in a feud over honor are removed from our civilized, evolved societies, we live less. We go through the motions even mocking death because we know by the odds that it’s going to be far in the future. Only, in our future we wish so gravely that we hadn’t lived our lives with more urgency and daring.

People regret more now then they did once for many reasons. There are more distractions that pull us away from what’s truly important, death is less of a constant and it’s less violent so we take most of our days for granted, and most of our lives are led to impress people we don’t like, spending money we don’t have, working a job we hate to buy clothes we discard not too long thereafter. If, somehow, we could bring urgency back into our lives our regrets in old age would surely be diminished.

The only way I see able to accomplish such a thing is purely mental, and purely a change of perspective. It isn’t bringing death back into everyday life – though I’m not sure that would be such a terrible thing – but bringing a conversation and an awareness of death into everyday life.

We need to talk about it more, it needs to be a part of our lives, like it once was in the times of the Vikings, for without darkness there cannot be light, without sadness there cannot be happiness, and without death we cannot experience life.

2. Physical toughness and mental toughness are one in the same.

The gym is now our Agoge, our training for physical toughness but also for mental toughness. Where men, both young and old, trained for war we now have to train as if we’re training for war. Of course, some men still actually do train for war and they’re tougher for it, but for those of us not following that path we still have to use our training to incur more than muscles or abs or pecs.

We need to train to become tougher, grittier men as warriors once did.

When you walk into the gym put your game face one, don’t be a goof yelling and screaming and spitting everywhere, but know that this workout is a battle, it’s a battle against your weakness, that voice that wants you to quit one rep early or walk out of the gym and back to the comfort of your couch before the workout has been fully completed.

Physical toughness, that is, the ability to push through pain, to workout when it’s the last thing you want to do, to squeeze out one more rep when everything in your logical mind says enough is enough, is mental toughness, and it’s this toughness that will help you become a man in the truest, greatest sense of the word.

3. Do what can’t be done.

There was something about that culture, the Viking’s culture, that wanted more, that didn’t fear death and that allowed them to try what others wouldn’t. They expanded at an incredible rate for such a small culture. Had they not ventured east, Russia as we know it now, would be China. They did what wasn’t supposed to be done but as a culture they didn’t think of it like that.

There wasn’t an attempt, like there is today. We try to do something but we don’t do something. We set a goal then do what we think is our best to accomplish it, falling short, but giving it a valiant effort worthy, in our minds, of some kind of accolade or applause. The Vikings, and other warrior cultures did. They had an idea and because their time on this earth was so short they didn’t ponder or over-plan or ask for advice, they just did.

Side note: With the Ultimate Warrior having passed just the other day, I watched a video of him recently where he gave some incredible advice: Don’t ever ask for advice. There’s a compass inside of you that knows what to do, where to go, who to be. To elaborate on that, when we’re asking for advice what we’re often doing is asking for affirmation that what we wanted to do is the right thing to do, but we know what is good and what is bad and what must be done. We (I included) ask for advice far too often instead of listening to that inner compass and doing what our souls beacon us to do. I just thought that was a brilliant point and may he rest in peace.

4. Eat whatever the land provides you with.

Our diets are a mess. Science today says this, science tomorrow says that. It’s a joke. What we need is simplicity. Eat what the land provides for you. It seemed to work for the Vikings who had a diet high in meat and vegetables and were massive. The key thing is meat (fish included). Look at their physical development versus the English, whose population grew forcing them to eat food of a lesser quality, or the Asians who were even smaller and had less body hair who ate more soy (estrogenic) and more rice.

The Vikings ate meat and fish and fruits and vegetables and different grains that weren’t processed. But they ate. They drank and consumed foods that were in season – of course, that was the only option – and tasty.

Eat meat. Eat lots of fatty fish. Eat veggies (lots of veggies). Eat fruits. Dabble in the others stuff, you don’t have to go completely Paleo (I’m in Italy right now and I’m on the opposite of Paleo diet), you still have to live. But if it’s something you can kill or something you can pick, eat it.

That’s pretty much what we follow in the Man Diet, something I highly recommend if you’re a guy and you want to be awesome.

5. Your fate is sealed.

How you die is a story that’s already written, or so the Vikings believed. And why not believe this? We don’t have control over how we die, so why run from it? Why worry about it or fear it?

Why not take risks in business, or with love, or with adventure? If your fate is already sealed that girl’s “yes” or “no” is as well, so who gives a rat’s ass if it’s a no, or if you fail in business, or die on an epic adventure out into the wilderness. Live as if your fate is already sealed.

Fear doesn’t benefit a man, it only hinders his quality of life and his capacity of greatness.

6. Hard climates make hard men.

The Vikings lived in a very harsh climate where it was hard to grow crops and build colonies and survive. You see it in our modern day as well, where the constant harshness that a climate provides produces men who are tougher and more resilient. That “climate” can be work. Farmers are tough dudes. Cowboys are damn tough. Guys who have to daily persist through physical labor and pain develop a thick skin, literally, and grit to accompany it.

They key to becoming a “hard man” is the repetitive, constant harshness that a climate provides and a workout can’t. A workout lasts 1 hour, and it’s intense. It’s awesome, it builds toughness, but a climate never relents. It never holds up and gives you a break. It’s there, always.

One thing I’ve done in my life is simple, and it’s something anyone can do:

Always take the hard way. It’s no grand, epic thought or idea. You just take the harder road instead of the easier one. Always take stairs not elevators or escalators, for example. Do what’s a little tougher because it’ll make you a little tougher.

7. Simplify.

It’s becoming harder to truly simplify and focus on one thing. There was a time when one thing was pretty much the only thing you could focus on. If you’re sailing, you were sailing, not tweeting or emailing or even reading. If you were farming you were farming, and if you were fighting, well, only a fool would think about something other than his enemy while entrenched in battle.

In today’s hyper-technological society wrought with things that take us away from our purpose and what we’re supposed to be doing, simplification must be self-imposed, it’s rarely the only option.

A few things to do:

  • Turn the internet off when you’re working. Work. Don’t surf or search or tweet. Just work.
  • Turn your phone off or on silent, always. Be where you are. This one’s enraging, when someone’s on their phone while they’re supposed to be in a conversation. Turn that shit off.
  • Focus on one thing, complete that thing, then move on to the next thing. Multitasking is a myth, it doesn’t work, and you should never attempt to force it to work.

8. Follow Your Ambitions!

Ambition is the calling of your soul. It’s that inner voice telling you where your life should head. For a few great Vikings that meant expansion or becoming king or conquering neighboring tribes. For us, the possibilities are limitless, however, we’re in a weak world where ambition is labeled as a selfish act by people who simply don’t have it, when it’s ambition that has provided us with every medical and technological breakthrough that we now take for granted. It’s ambition that brought us electricity and the automobile and even that stupid little cell phone.

Ambition is what shapes the world. When a good man lines up his ambition with action, the world is the one who benefits.

Go forth, expand, conquer, rise up and above your current status. It’s in the nature of a man to want to become better and there’s nothing at all wrong with that, it’s only good. Follow that gnawing feeling in your soul that wants you to expand and grow to a place where your fingerprints are left all over this wonderful world. It’s okay to be ambitious.

  • Davide Sanzullo

    Awesome article Chad, once again! Keep up the good work, you’re an inspiration!

  • Jimmy The Chin

    Great article. You think just like me and your doing a great job bringing back masculinity to a world full of beta feminised men.

    Do you watch the series ‘Vikings’? Man every time I watch an episode of that I’m jacked for greatness.

    If you haven’t read it yet check out ‘manthropolgy’ the book. I’m 2 chapters in and already convinced man has declined rapidily.

    Keep up the good work chad.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Favorite series man. Love it.

      Manthropology… K I’ll pick that up. I agree that it’s declined, I don’t think it’s up for debate, it’s pitiful where we’re at but it goes in waves, it’ll come back.

      • Tynam

        Nonsense. Manhood has _grown_. We are greater, and stronger, than we have ever been. Standing on other people to stay on top isn’t strength; it’s proof that you’re weak.

        The only “beta” men I encounter are the ones spending all their time whinging that they can’t possibly make a living if they have to compete with women, or how they can’t be “real men” if they don’t get to shoot strangers for fun, or something.

        Cowards.

        Dying of cholera or getting your brains split open at sixteen by strangers doesn’t make you more of a man, just less likely to live. If you really want to bring back medieval masculine skills: learn choral singing, sewing, planting, and tax accountancy

        If the viking warriors could see how we live, they’d trade in an instant. And sneer at you for complaining.

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

        Of course they’d trade it man, we live in an incredibly easy world. We do, however, live in a society that complains about where they are and what opportunities they’re given, when in the past LIFE was its own gift and opportunity because of how brief it was.

        The beta men I encounter are those who feel that they’re owed something, that their destiny isn’t in their hands or that it isn’t their responsibility. And those beta males are everywhere. So I see your point, but we’re not stronger, we’re weaker and more dependent than ever before, we’re not greater, we’re more selfish and self-involved.

        I say “we”, but this doesn’t mean all of us. There are those who are still warriors and protectors and leaders. Men who understand that what they do with their lives is up to them, not extenuating circumstances and certainly not what life they’re born into – hear what I’m saying?

      • Tynam

        I hear what you’re saying, I just don’t agree.

        Humans have always been selfish, self-involved and prone to excuses; no more so now than ever. (Nor was life in the past particularly brief – the low average age for medieval people was in large part due to scary child mortality rates. If you made it to 6 you were probably fine until 50. The violent death rate was pretty shocking by our standards, though.)

        There are still soldiers and protectors, and there are as many of them as there have ever been. (Not that that’s ever been a male-only profession, despite what the movies tell you.)

        As for “leaders” – the majority of humans have never been leaders. (Even many of those in charge were never _leaders_, just sociopathic thugs who happened to be born in charge.) If anything I think the rate of real leadership among men is increasing – the old ways don’t work, and we’re having to learn genuine leadership skills to get along. I’ll put the leaders and organisers I know up against the best of the old days without a second’s hesitation.

        (Of course, most “people in charge” have as much leadership potential as a cabbage leaf. But again, that’s always been true; no new loss there.)

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

        I don’t think the comparison can even be made, it’s not “skills” that make great leaders but actions and persistence and grit. We can’t compare leaders of medieval times because we don’t really know them, but how about “the greatest generation” vs today?

        Were they perfect back then? No, of course not, but they had to grow up and they did, quickly. Today we have a generation of “men” who won’t grow up. They refuse. They party into their forties, only caring about themselves and an odd definition of happiness or they depend on others of sustenance. We’re boys in man-suits and our society is enabling this.

        Thus, I don’t think the comparisons can be made, especially with the self-entitlement swing we’re seeing. Leaders take care of themselves and bring others with them, fewer are taking care of themselves and even fewer are bringing others along with them.

        HOWEVER, this may also mean a “weeding out” of those who can’t lead, strengthening those who can and making them all the more important. We’ll see.

        With that, as you said, most of those in leadership positions aren’t true leaders. Completely agree. When you do get a leader to lead, magic happens, we see it with great companies and countries, they are and always have been a minority, and they always will be.

      • Tynam

        I have to disagree with your first sentence; leadership is a skill to be learned, just like all other interpersonal skills. It takes years to master debate, or martial arts, or a craft, or marriage (or any other interpersonal skill). Leadership is no different.

        The most effective leaders, studies show, have a few characteristics in common: Intense professional determination (the point 2 we were discussing in your other post). Hard work. A culture of professional discipline. And deep personal humility. (This last one is _important_. The humble can _learn from_ and _listen to_ their subordinates. If you have the other qualities without that one, you get an arrogant moron who drives his most idiotic prejudice over everyone else’s objections, until the whole edifice collapses, because he can’t tell the difference between criticism of his plans and personal attacks. We can call that “senior politician syndrome”.)

        A few people have natural talents for all of these, and will always be great leaders.

        But _anyone_ can learn to be better at them. If they have the will to try.

        (The reason that so many people in command positions are not leaders is that humans have a nasty tendency to ignore the humble, in favour of the pushy and loudmouthed. This is not a useful quality in a leader, or in anyone, but it’s great at getting you noticed.)

      • regular Joe

        As a martial artist and martial arts teacher (side note, many martial arts now are the same way, panzified dance parties designed to make weak minded people feel better about themselves rather than hard, gritty training to actually get good), you’re wrong. Yes, martial arts take years of practice (I purposely don’t say learn or know, because you’re never done learning, and you never fully know it), but without the mentality of “I’m going to make this happen no matter the cost”, you’ll never make it anywhere worth being, in martial arts or in life. It is central to greatness, plain and simple.

      • Tynam

        You’re correct, and I never said otherwise. You must have that “make-it-work” to become great.

        But it’s not the _only_ thing you must have.

      • 19 kilo

        Leaders are BORN hate to break it to you and men nowadays are entirely pussified the greatest men I have ever met I served with. In the outside world it’s nothing but pussies and soft sheep, I rarely have encountered real men, real sheepdog’s outside of my time in a combat arms mos.

      • Armed Sheep

        Sheepdog? Srsly? I am fed up with assholes who think they need to be my sheepdog. Sheepdogs are still dogs. . . with a master. I’ll shoot the sheepdogs along with the wolves.

      • Retired Grunt

        You’re still a POG who went into a “combat arms” MOS but didn’t actually want to fight. Infantry doesn’t talk like that for a reason. The idea of the sheepdog is one of actual warfighters doing the job necessary so men, women, and children back home don’t have to. It’s not of “combat arms” guys protecting REMFs.

      • Schloss

        Going to have to disagree with you on your ideas of leadership. It IS a skill, and it can be improved, but at its core it is basically who you are. In 26 years in the military I witnessed hundreds of people with rank but damn few leaders. Said military loves to push “leadership” training but for the most part it is a farce; an “8” on a scale of 1-10 might become an “8.3” with a lot of self-improvement effort, but a “1” is never going to become a “5”, much less an “8”.

      • Tynam

        Hmmm…. you’re right about that. In hindsight I phrased that pretty badly.

        What I was meant is this:

        Leadership _potential_ is inborn, but living up to it is a developed skill.

        If you’re not a Lee (or Gandhi for that matter), then nothing will make you into one. But even Lee didn’t _start out_ adored by all his men; he was good but it took experience to polish that talent until it shone.

        And the difference between mediocre leaders and bad ones is an unwillingness to learn from their mistakes. Brilliance can’t be learned, but _adequate_ can. (Most so-called leaders don’t bother to, of course, but that’s on them. As you correctly say, there are always a lot more people with rank than there are leaders.)

        Leadership training mostly sucks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve leadership skills – just that you can’t do it in class.

        I agree with you that a “1” is never going to become a “5”, but one reason for that is that “1”s are people who _just aren’t willing to learn_. If they were capable of recognising and learning from their mistakes, they wouldn’t _be_ 1s.

      • Doc

        Agreed, some people are born with this innate talent, a gift so to speak, education, training, learning just makes them better… and as Schloss said there are ‘lots’ of people in leadership position who are not leaders by any stretch of the imagination, I would classify them as managers, that you can learn, because all your doing is following policy and procedures… big difference from leading which requires not just an education, training and planning but the particular skill of problem solving, foresight, but more so the natural ability and character to get people to willingly and eagerly follow you. That is what leader have and do.

      • David

        buddy you live in Vancouver. No wonder you have this weird conception that manliness is dying. I’m Canadian and just finished 4 years living in the city and attending UBC. Never seen so many bitches in one place before.

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

        Ah man, and you were in the heart of it. It is true. Very true. It’s a joke here.

      • asgroam

        Lol, no, the last part of your text is such fucking bullshit you stupid leftist liberal. A normal, healthy human being would NOT trade their lives for what postmodern shits like you live, however much luxuary and wealth you might be bathing it, losing my humanity over it is not worth it.

        And I just read your second post lower down, and you say that ”all humans have always been selfish”, which, again, is not true. People cared about themselves, their family, and their society & race more than ”humans” do today. Today everything is about ME ME ME ME ME, glorious individualism at its finest. Work a fake job, buy shit you don’t need to impress people you don’t care about so you can feel better about yourself and superior to others, and scream racist at those who seek to better society and cure it from this toxic postmodern shit society we find ourselves in today.

      • disqus_ysoUhhDbsN

        Thank you. I’m sick of hearing guys complain about competing with women. I’m sick of still having to work twice as hard and still only getting paid 23% less. Guys have nothing to complain about. Aggressively pushing someone down isn’t a sign of strength. It’s pathetic and weak.

    • Logan

      Feminised men? Sexism at its finest.

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

        Awesome. First comment by someone who has no clue what they’re talking about. Congrats.

        Men and women are different. Period. Masculine values are dwindling and we ARE seeing a rise in men who are searching for them. To call a man feminized isn’t sexism at all, it’s a slap in the face of the guy you’re calling feminized, it’s like calling him an ass hole. It’s not a knock on women. Read any article on this site and all you’re find is praise for women, a man can’t be an honorable man if he doesn’t love and cherish women, he also can’t be an honorable man if he lacks masculinity.

      • Spamfish

        “its like calling him an asshole” hmmm so that just shows what you think of females if you think being like one is being an asshole. So yeah tbf the guy kinda had a point about you being sexist. You may not think it or realise it about yourself, you may not even see the inherent sexism of our patriarchal culture, but it is there. You can still be a “real” man without the need to denigrate or judge those who do not feel the same. In fact accepting and not judging people, while keeping your belief in yourself would be a very manly thing to do.

      • doesnt matter

        Your mistaking sexism for feminism, by saying “its like calling him an asshole,” he means it as an insult. To call a male feminine it demarks his “status” as a man. Feminism is a lie as we know the obvious differences between men in women both physically and mentally, woman and men are not equal. Dont misinterpret me saying status as putting males above females, I am all for womans rights and giving all equal opportunity, I simply mean you dont see a bulky guy at a gym wearing short shorts and a pink sphaghetti top. Your right about not judging others, what right do the imperfect have to judge the imperfect, but as men we are called to be strong, smart, and tough defenders. wether that be to a family or state of some sort. To encourage other men to be strong isnt sexist, but to deny men from encouraging others to be “men” as described above that is illogical and unaccepting in the same respects. Now getting off from the oh accept others for who they are ect. I will not judge those of you who wish to keep from being active. For the rest of us who want to be strong I think Chad has a point, he is not sexist, he is merely pointing out information for others.

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

        Well said here. Appreciate the support.

      • Drive By

        The next woman I see, I’ll commend her on her masculinity.

        I’m sure she won’t be offended. And if she is, I’ll point out the sexism implied in the belief that men are less capable than women.

      • Samantha Canvin

        Sorry but your writing IS quite sexist, born from our patriarchal society.
        You write about the warriors of the Viking era and their highest values as if it only applied to their men, but the Viking society was a meritocracy, not a patriarchy. Their values were encompassed by men and women, they had shield maidens that were equal and integral to their battles and raids, and there were women leaders that the men looked to and obeyed in all things. It is well known that a female Viking led the first expedition to Iceland and ruled as it was settled.

        Men and women do have different biologies, that does not make one better than the other, nor is it as clear cut as women should aspire to be ‘feminine’ and men to be ‘masculine’ these are terms inflicted on us by the Victorians where femine = weakness, an object of property to be kept from the world. A sacred ideal, or a muse to be loved and cherished for her purity and simplicity. I don’t know a single woman like that, though many that still feel like it is what men expect of them.

        I pretty much agree with your entire article btw, society has become weak, we DO need to be more like the Vikings.. but men and women both suffer this Nietzchean ‘slave mentality’ and both need to reclaim their power, grit and resolve. I know that modern man needs to empower himself (and I applaud your endeavours in this regard), that women started that process for themselves a century ago, but one does not come at the expense of the other.
        What you term masculine values, I simply call values, assuming that a women would not want to embody those values also, is sexist.. some will, some won’t, same goes for men as sexual identity is a broad spectrum (identity, not talking preference/proclivity here).

        The Vikings, Celts and Germanic nations understood this. In fact many misconceptions about the role of women in history comes from the fact that the Germanic nations didn’t have a word for females, all people were men, women just meant ‘wife man’ ie, once a female became a wife, it was only then that she was to be regarded any differently to the males, and that purely because she was of increased value due to having dependants relying on her to stay alive.

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

        Never have I said that men are better than women, you make a GREAT point about some of the greatest warrior cultures in history having women warriors playing a very important role in battle and in culture.

        Here’s where you need to watch it…

        Just because I’m not addressing women doesn’t mean I don’t respect them or see their value. But I’m not addressing them and I won’t because that’s not the focus of THIS SITE.

        Are there women out there with a female focus to their works? Of course. Are they deemed sexist because they’re not also addressing men? No. It’s lunacy. But because I don’t address women you have the gaul to say I’m sexist?

        It’s simply not the focus of this site.

      • Tynam

        With respect, I’ll step in to translate here: Samantha didn’t say – and I don’t think she meant – that you were sexist because you weren’t discussing women here. (I don’t think anyone sane could think so. This is a site all about masculinity; BY NATURE it’s talking mostly to men.)

        She was trying to point out a problem built in to our language: because our culture has a sexist history, there are an _amazing_ number of ways in which English itself is sexist.

        (Don’t think so? Consider. “He’s got balls” is a compliment, praising courage. “_She’s_ got balls” is a compliment, praising courage. “X is a pussy” is a major insult, implying cowardice – in either gender. See the problem?)

        So Samantha wasn’t complaining that you talk about men; she was objecting specifically to using the word “feminised” as an insult. Because treating it as an insult to men says that _women are less capable than men_. (Otherwise being like one wouldn’t be bad.)

        One of the things I like about your writing is that you talk about masculinity without feeling the need to put down women. (As you correctly say, history is full of great female warriors – including those vikings. You don’t particularly mention them because you’re discussing *male* role models, but you don’t deny their existence either.)

      • Alex

        Pussy is also another way of saying “kitten”. That’s what they mean, nothing to do with vaginas. What are you doing here anyway? The site is men specific. The guy references women as a necessity for a successful society, and has appeared to hold high respect for women, as he was raised in a household full of them. I think one of the values of the right man for him is to respect women. Not talking about women in a men specific site with the tagline “Bringing Back Manliness” is not sexist. It’s like having a basketball article in a martial arts website.

      • Tynam

        With the greatest of respect, Alex, you have completely missed my point.

        I agree with you totally. Not talking about women on this site is OK. It’s more than OK, it’s _expected_. Women are not the topic under discussion. (Samantha clearly agreed with us on that as well.)

        And as for “Chad holds high respect for women” – I agree with that too, or I wouldn’t be here. Indeed, I have just praised him for the ability to talk about manhood *without* putting down women, unlike a lot of fools out there.

        For that matter, *I* respect women too. (I had better; my sister is a much better shot than I am.) But that doesn’t mean I never make a mistake.

        And when I say something that’s thoughtless and puts women down, I expect to be called on it, so I can do better next time. (Since we’re talking about manhood: being a man means not being afraid to be told you’re wrong.)

        The problem isn’t not mentioning women. That’s OK.
        The problem is that in this case we _did_ mention women. Saying “feminised” is, by definition, mentioning women – as a comparison.

        And if we use “feminised” as an insult, we ARE NOT, at that precise moment, respecting women. We are saying that being like a woman is a bad thing. We are putting them down

        So why do it?

        There are plenty of words we can use for weak men, without denigrating women. We can call them cowards, man-children, weak, foolish, lazy.

        But not feminised. Because “feminised” is not an insult. It means “like a woman”. And women are *awesome*.

  • Sir_Jamie

    you_go_girl,be_a_warrior!_I_stay_here

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Well said. War isn’t what it used to be. To kill, you had to bring yourself within death’s reach. Now the ones who decide wars sit in their ivory towers, hands cleansed from the destruction of battle.

      It’s a disgrace.

      • Wife of a real warrior leader.

        Chad, have you ever been in a real war or had a leadership position in war?

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

        Now, I know you know the answer to that. I have not.

        I would like to hear where this goes though…

        And before you go…

        It appears that your husband has, so thank you to you and your husband. The freedoms we enjoy, like being able to write whatever we want on sites that we own or even comment on articles written by others, are made possible by the soldiers who fight and die for such freedoms. Warriors. That isn’t lost on civilians who have even an ounce of understanding of where they are and why they’re there, and it certainly isn’t something we haven’t talked about at length on this site in other articles. Should we do more to honor them? Yes, in a very big way.

        But for now, thanks to the both of you, and I’d love to hear what you have to say.

    • Bonnie_

      When President Bush walked out in Yankee stadium to throw the first pitch in the World Series in 2001 the Towers were still smoldering in the background. No one had any idea when or where the next attack would come, but walking out alone in front of thousands of people at the World-freaking-series was insanely brave. He threw a perfect strike. The Vikings would be proud.

      • Tynam

        Yeah, that’s not what “insanely brave” looks like.

        Bravery? That’s the firefighters who ran _towards_ the collapsing mess of the towers, to help save a few more people.

      • Bonnie_

        Of course firefighters are brave. But so was the President, to walk alone to the pitcher’s mound under a very real threat of death. The moment the Towers were struck the battlefield moved from “over there” to right here. I responded to Chad, who said that leaders used to have to bring themselves within death’s reach and now don’t. That’s twentieth century thinking. President Bush did an insanely brave act that day, and I’m proud and glad he was our President.

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

        I have a ton of respect for Mr. Bush, a ton.

      • Bruce Banner

        Bullshit. Bush wasn’t risking anything with his ss bodyguards making sure everything was safe for him. Laughable mention of the Towers smoldering, destroyed by his superb failure as a leader.

      • Bruce Banner

        Also, how long was he reading that Pet Goat book before the incompetent draft-dodger finally decided to take any action?

  • Rugged1

    To find other people that see what I have been seeing since I was a kid. We’ve been litigated and drugged, dosed and demeaned down into semi-androgynous demi-dudes. I for one refuse to go quietly and people have been calling me a “throw-back”, or a caveman for my views on education, child rearing and common everyday laws and associated punishments. People need to get a grip, handle their shit and stop being afraid to be a bit more basic.
    Love your work on this worthy cause Chad.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Appreciate it man, and you’re not alone!

    • Newticle

      The point of the article is “Be bold, practical, and don’t fear failure.” Not “Be a thug willing to whup up on people smaller than you.”

      …whether or not you take that to mean you is up to you, coz I dunnoya…but usually when people call you a “caveman,” they’re accusing you of being an ignorant bully, not a flexible conqueror type.

    • B B Rebozo

      Sociobiology says it all

  • ItalianBroStallionStereotype

    Great article man!! Where are you staying in Italy precisely? North or South?

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      From Rome, up. So checking out a lot of different places in that area. Beautiful country!

  • Jason

    I see where the point of this article is going, but the pseudo anthropology and inaccuracies detract from this point: i.e. Viking ate meat and were LARGE MEN versus Asians ate rice who were small – buddy have you ever seen people in Northern China? They also eat rice and let me tell you – they are huge and hairy.

    I would also disagree with “Fear doesn’t benefit a man, it only hinders his quality of life and his capacity of greatness.” While fear should not be the primary motivator for action, fear is an important part of any equation. Fear signals danger, something that needs to be accounted for in any objective assessment of a situation. To be sure, nothing is more comforting or more pleasant than to ignore danger and attempt to break though, but this is possible if the danger is merely transitory. If you ignore fear in the wrong circumstances, you crash upon life like water upon rock.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Great point about fear. In the article, and on this site, I look at fear not as a deterrent, but something you should navigate towards and conquer. Obviously if its something you fear you plan and calculate how to conquer the fear, you don’t simply walk in blindly, but you do go towards the fear instead of running from it.

      So it’s not ignoring the fear at all – I’ll look it over, maybe I just explained it poorly – but recognizing it and conquering it. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but the acceptance of it while taking action in spite of it.

      • Brian J. Musick

        Fear is not bad…unless you can’t conquor it. It would be more accurate to say the having courage is more important than a lack of fear. Courage is the power to overcome fear. No one can help feeling fear from time to time.

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

        Agreed.

      • Doc

        As a Iraq vet (04 -05, 08 -09) we learned to use fear a tool, it heightens you abilities as long as you keep it under control. Its natural and helps enhances your buried primitive senses, feel, touch, smell, sight, hearing, it releases adrenal into the blood stream (You obviously know this) giving you an amazing ability to think faster, move faster, shoot faster and more accurately… But How some will ask the question… training, training, training and then when you’ve done that, more training…You have to continually push yourself during training, you have to set the bar high and go for it.
        I suggest to those that have never experienced what I call true fear, that is the fear that comes from a combatant situation, to join a boxing club, the first time in the ring they will experience fear, but they will also learn to control it, they will learn that getting hit and the pain from it is more imagined than it actually is (If the club is smart and not mis-match him) once a man releases he can go toe to toe with another man and he doesn’t get killed and takes a few licks it will change his perception on the reality of pain, this is not to say it will make him invincible, all combat must be tempered with intelligence and wisdom.
        Doc Out:

      • Tynam

        Beautiful suggestion.

        We have fear for a reason. It is bad only because our bodies are adapted, basically, to chasing down antelope with clubs – the primitive fear response isn’t always the best answer in a more complex world. So we need to face it and control it. And that requires practice – to teach your brain that {whatever you’re afraid of} isn’t so bad that it should stop thinking.

      • Tynam

        Absolutely right.

        The man without fear is not brave, just dumb. Bravery is being terrified and doing what must be done _anyway_.

    • doesnt matter

      Estrogen is known in high doses to give men woman like charachterstics in respect to biology and as to geography, Asia is a big place so your right about not all Asians but try not to pick apart, acknowladge the mistake, but this mistake doesnt detract from the article.

  • lenstrom

    Well done, Chad!

    “….the end will start when we bring our greatest fear into the present.”

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Appreciate it brother!

      • Bjarki Hansen

        have you googled vegan bodybuilder ? -you don’t need meat to be big !

      • Doesnt matter

        But you cant ignore the fact that meat has amazing nutrients that make muscle building much simpler than nitpicking food.

  • lenstrom

    Sooooooo many quotables in this post!

  • Megan

    While some of these points are great, why are all these positive Viking qualities only being attributed to men? Why is this only reaching out to men? How about reaching out to the entire population, not just half!

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      That would saturate the message and the voice used in the article. Women are wonderful, obviously, I love women. But that’s not the focus of the site nor the article. My mission is to help men rise up. To include the other half would change the voice and the focus of some of the posts.

      With that, all of the attributes can be carried by women, so whenever I say “men or man”, just replace it with “woman”. The message is the same for either sex.

      • pacspeed

        False dichotomy. If Men are to spend their lives conquering and pillaging, someone must stay home to raise babies. Women CAN carry these attributes, but for the kind of society you’re rooting for, the vast majority of them must conform to the flip side of your viking coin: submissive, nurturing, etc. Good luck putting that genie back in the bottle!
        I’m thinking there are parts of your philosophy that have some traction, such as being persistent, working hard, and embracing your fear. But many outwardly feminine qualities are totally compatible with being a man. I can (and do) cook meals, comfort my babies, clean the house, and run a sewing machine without compromising any of my masculinity. Likewise I can (and do) race motorcycles, surf, windsurf, build houses, run heavy machinery, and coach baseball without being a violent, oppresive, neanderthal.
        The current problem with beta males isnt that they are feminized, it’s that they are lazy, fat, couch potatoes whos notion of an activity involves tv and video games. I agree with many of your points, but I think sloth, not androgyny is our real problem.

      • Tynam

        Absolutely with you on this, pacspeed.

        Being good at childcare doesn’t make you less of a man, but more of one.

        Knowing how to repair your clothes – or make them – doesn’t make you less of a man, but more of one. (Shouldn’t a man be self-sufficient? Any medieval warrior would have laughed his ass off at a man so pathetic he couldn’t even fix a tear in his shirt.)

        Skill and hard work are _always_ a gain.

    • Damon

      Not to be a sexist, but this is a man specific site. It says it’s about “Bringing Back Manliness”.

  • Ralph

    Loved the article, completely agree that society is emasculating men to the point they’re unrecognizable as men anymore. Makes me glad i got into tree work and landscaping though, you want to learn some grit spend three days shoveling rocks out of someone’s landscape into wheelbarrows onto a trailer then shovel off the trailer to unload it. That’ll put some hair on your chest haha

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Good solid work man. Where you know you’ve actually done something. Well done.

  • Rio

    Hi Chad I love your work your an inspiration to me. I would like your advice as an alpha male, on a particular situation that has been troubling me mentally.

    Hi ppl

    To cut a long story short. One day I was drinking with a friend and his friends at university.

    I ended up teasing one of my mates (were no longer mates) who was annoying me saying something to him which he previously told me he didn’t like me mentioning. Anyway he fairly got angry and pushed me.

    We went outside to talk and I apologised as I was in the wrong. However he went further and told me if I mentioned it again he would spark me the **** out. My response to this was that if he did I would get my boys and **** him up. He responded and called me a pussy, I said obviously look at the size of you (in reference to me calling boys to **** him up).

    I wasn’t really angry at him at the time also knowing that I was in the wrong. Anyway everything was cool after that it was brushed under the mat.

    But a month after it I heard how he had been telling people what happened and making me look like a ***** around university which has got me depressed, and made me personally feel like less of a man because I didn’t do anything after he talked **** to my face.

    One of my friends that is friends with him also stopped talking to me, obviously because of what he’s said to him.

    Mentally I feel as if the only way I can overcome this and feel more of man about myself is to **** him up?

    I don’t see the point in asking him if he’s been telling people whats happened – because that’ll make me just look insecure about the situation.

    Please advise

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Hey man, glad you’re enjoying the site!

      This is stuff that will pass and you’ll forget about one day man. The bickering and stuff. What other people say and what other people do shouldn’t get you down or depressed, there’s a battle in and of itself, how to stay up when others are trying to bring you down.

      With that said, you shoulda fought the guy that initial night. Who cares if he’s bigger than you, never use your boys as back up in a one on one fight. You’re a warrior man, if he beats you up, who cares, you handled it like a man. You’d be stronger for it and he’d respect you more for it.

      Moving forward, I don’t know, you may just have to fight the guy – and any woman reading this wouldn’t understand, but that’s how quarrels, especially with buddy’s, are solved best – but you might not. That ends the quarrel and usually results in a stronger friendship (any guy who’s fought a real buddy back me up here). But you’ll know what to do. Fighting may not be the best recourse. Talking to the guy might be the best thing to do. Handle it as you see fit, but again, don’t let peer pressure (even from me) guide you into a fight or into handling something a certain way. Be your own man. Do what YOU think you should do and be proud of it.

      In a month you won’t even be thinking about this, that I do know.

      • Doc

        Chad hope you don’t mind if I jump in here, as an OF (Old Fart) here’s my advice: Invite him into the boxing ring, that way you keep it civilized with rules and it doesn’t get outta hand, if he says no then he’ll look like the pussy, if he says yeah then do it, you might be scared but thats natural, control it, Its doesn’t matter if you take a beating or you lose, in his eye’s and other men’s eyes you’ll be a man but make sure you shake his hand afterwards, and if the situation feels right then apologize for being a dick originally… Real men appreciate that, and it he doesn’t fcuk him, he’s the dick and you proved yourself to be the better man.

    • arrhythmiarules

      – feel less of a man??. How you feel about you comes from inside you. Why should it come from outside, from these others. Look in the mirror and know the guy in front is OK. You respect him. Being strong includes following your values and truth, holding trust. YOu have done that, you have been strong. Your values may include a fight or they may not. You know you agreed a pact and you stood by your word so be strong, know that and wonder why he is so weak he needs to brag, break privacy and trust. All shows his weakness. What did he not like you mentioning? More weakness. Sounds like he has a worm for an inside, it is worms go round breaking trust, bad mouthing and usually lying as well. Perhaps confront him, remind him in front of others of his breaking trust and his fear. Following his story telling, his breach of trust, you may not feel any obligation to keep silent. Tell the full story including his fear where it needs to be said. But avoid being a worm. Stand tall, be proud, do what you believe is right, look the world and him in the eye.

    • Tynam

      Manhood comes from who _you are_. If you have it, it can’t
      be taken away from you just because some guy can’t cope with what you
      said. If you don’t, no amount of beating up your friends will give it to you.

      You screwed up (anyone can) – and then you took responsibility and apologised (like a man should). End of story.

      Everything after that is on him.

      You shouldn’t ask him what he’s telling people, not because it makes you _look_ insecure but because it’s _being_ insecure.

      If another friend isn’t talking to you now – and you still want them to – then stop hiding and talk to _them_ about it. Ask them flat out if you’re still friends – and if not, why not. Don’t make any guesses or assumptions about what happened – confront the problem, and find out.

  • potato

    The real question is, are you guys using that picture from Mount & Blade: Warband legally?

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      GREAT question. Just looked it up. I got it off a blog, changing the image to a stock photo now. Thanks for the head’s up. Don’t want to rip anyone off for work well done, great pic.

  • Zach Johnson

    interestig article,although your observations about Asians being “more estrogenic” seems a bit off base.considering that asian cultures are responsible for creating some of the deadliest fighting arts known to man,creating gun powder,etc.the japanese fanatacism in combat during ww2 was definitly not from a lack of testosterone.

    • Jonathan Besler

      Asian cultures created “some of the deadliest fighting arts known to man” at least a few centuries after the Norse did; even their development of Damascus steel followed that of Europeans by at least 3 centuries. Tradition holds that these arts were delivered to Japan via Buddhist monks, and these would likely have learned them from interacting with Norse and Celts. That the fanatical Samurai only died out in recent memory is a factor of their isolation…and facing the brunt of nuclear weapons.

    • Jonathan Besler

      My point is the honouring of history. If history points out the superiority of the Nordic race, that’s fine by me.
      The “when” and “how” these fighting arts were developed is entirely relevant to your claim “that asian cultures are responsible for creating” these arts. Do you even read what you write?

      • Zach Johnson

        umm how is claiming all asian fighting arts are rooted wiith the vikings(which is pure speculation aka talking out your ass) “honouring history”? are you an expert in the martial history of every single Asian culture? i doubt it.more than likely you’re just an armchair historian dickswinging on the supposed “superiority” of the Nordic race

  • arrhythmiarules

    what a load of shite. Fate sealed. Crap life is what you make it. Take the hard road, Oh yes work on the top floor of Empire State and walk to work. No one tough comes from nice warm climates oh yes. Anyway the Vilkings died out in Greenland they could not tough it.

    • Doc

      Wow does baby need a hug, hey you don’t have to be here, there’s lots of girly sites you can go hang out at… Whats with you beta males, did you get your arse handed to you in school, did the big bad bully take your pocket money… Sheesh… Arrhythmia doesn’t rule btw, it kills… if you’re in the medical field that nome de plume is pretty sick.

      • arrhythmiarules

        As an old git I know I am far tougher than most, Would not surprise me if you’re included in the most even if you are 20 years younger. Toughness is mental at least as much as physical not the shite given out above. Its about being strong enough to do what you believe in and not banging your head on a wall just because it is hard. Any arse can do that. Alpha male Includes girlie things like looking after yourself and others. You are pretty useless in a serious situation if you are broken. And no arrhythmia does not kill. Strokes kill, heart attacks kill, fear kills. Like the above arrhythmia is just shite but get over it and get on with it.

      • Doc

        I’m probably about the same age as you, (56) and I more than understand what it takes to be tough, it would seem your idea of his post is more inclined to that of a street brawler or some other type of hooligan, or even a zombie.
        I think you missed his point, we OF’s (Old Farts) know if you have to say you’re tough then I doubt that you are, either that or you have something to prove.
        If you read his article and interpreted it properly then you would know ‘toughness’ is always determined by a persons character which is a combination of both physical and mental attributes and that comes from his experiences in life, those two cemented with discipline, not imposed discipline that you would get from the military but self discipline.
        Someone who has everything handed to them and has never had to strive for anything is unlikely to be tough, its only when a person is put under pressure way beyond their comfort zone or pushed physically do you see their true self, hence why the Special Forces, SRR, RM Commando’s, Para Regt beast the shit out of their prospective candidates during selection, to see if they are tough enough to hack it, I know this from personal experience.
        The point he is trying to make is that in order to attain some level of toughness you have move beyond the easy route, challenge yourself, even fail, that builds character, one of the ways that will help is by physically pushing yourself, this allows you if you are honest to dissect your own abilities and removes the ego, then you can truly know if you tough and what measures you need to improve.
        Finally, no one is saying or implying you should be selfish, part of being a ‘Man’ or Alpha Male is responsibility, selflessness, empathy, sacrifice, duty and fidelity, being true to your word.

  • asgroam

    Thank you for this article. I think you should’ve finished the text with: ”Simply put: Be a normal human being”, because that’s what this really is about. ”Humans” today are nothing but a shallow representation of what nature intended us to be. We get drugged by shit in our food everyday, we work fake jobs (public sector), and don’t benefit those around us doing so, we live in a fucking ridicilously overcomplicated society and when you point that out, you get called a caveman. Fucking really? Not only that, but kids these days, seriously.

  • Doc

    Chad, here’s one for you… Think you’ll enjoy it.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Awesome.

  • Ed White

    Back to a time where men were men. And Women ran scared. Except for the fact Vikings were pretty much midgets

  • Bjorn Bum buster

    Fate is sealed, such a fatty diet was offset by much ingesting of Herring, combined with poorly fermented Honey wines; life was good in…. England.

  • Colin Gray

    HARRROUGH, OUH OUH OUH

  • Hammer 06

    You don’t have to love the article. You don’t have to hate it either. Like the Vikings, take what you think is of value, and leave the rest for someone else! Men, couple the tough talk in this article with Wisdom, and you’ll be ok. HAMMER 6 OUT!

  • James Minze

    It should be honorable to cut male parts off the wimps that don’t deserve them.

  • Anthony Ray Spencer

    Truth

  • http://www.raulfelix.com/ Raul Felix

    This is fucking beautiful and legit as fuck. You got me up fired bro. Great job.

  • Michael Dean Miller

    .
    .
    “M1 thumb” is a sign of manhood, apparently.
    .
    .

  • John

    The article didn’t address Valhalla. Vikings had s strong g belief in the afterlife. Took the fear of death away somewhat knowing/thinking you go to a place where you fight all day and party all night. Same thing next day.

  • Linda Wolfe

    I watch the Vikings, my genealogy shows my viking clan went to spain and then went to Ireland killing the druids, I am so proud of them doing that (not) but they had shield maidens who were warriors who were respected for their abilities and strength in times of war. We have lots of warriors in today’s world, both men and women, they are the U.S. Military and live short lives, or come home crippled or mentally stretched to the limit for what they have seen. Both men and women. Those that never saw war see what has happened to the returned and learn more than they bargained for. It means a 45yo picked up a que stitch because someone called a guy a baby killer, knowing he had to be military when he turned to fight every military personnel turned with him, even those discharged, Dad, US Army retired, bailed me out along with as many as he could and others showed up for the rest. Odd, instead of being respected I was the cause of humiliation from boyfriends and husbands who werent military. I was not a WAC I was enlisted personnel and all 9wks I thought I would die every day cause it hurt. I also taught men night fire cause they couldnt hit the broad side of a barn. I nevery had to ask for help, military recognizes military even in civilian clothes and watched my back, oops, there goes another husband. Yah, I wish more men would do that extra rep, accept me for what I am capable of, but it aint happening. it never did nor will it in my lifetime. But I cant live a lesser life just to pretend someone has earned his ego. I would rather quilt, go to the gun range, practice throwing my knives and watching soap operas. Oh, well, at least I try to be honest w myself and live the life that makes me strong, healthy and me.

  • disqus_ysoUhhDbsN

    I was wary of this at first. My initial reaction was oh christ, not again with this ridiculous ” I need to prove how manly I am” alpha male bullshit. I’m so sick and tired of “men” needing to prove themselves and one thing I don’t dig on is that overly aggressive male who just HAS TO BE in charge just because he has a penis… but thank fully this article wasn’t like that at all. Everything in here is true…. HOWEVER…
    …I will say, that this isn’t – and shouldn’t be – limited to men. #1 Vikings did this. Not just male Vikings, but ALL Vikings. I follow pretty much all of these, and I’m all woman sweetheart.

    One should note that women were treated with MUCH more respect and were, in fact, considered equal to men in Viking times. In fact, if you cheated on a Viking female…well, don’t ask ;)

    Bottom line: if you feel threatened by some guy’s “lack of masculinity” i.e. what YOU think he should be simply b/c he’s a male, then you have a problem. Stop it with trying to prove how much testosterone you have. It’s actually a turn OFF, not a turn on.

  • Cody Duncan

    We’re evolved to compare ourselves to people who lived hundreds of years ago is stupid. Vikings murdered children, raped women, stole for a living and I could give a rats ass if they would think I’m a man.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      They were no different in those regards than anyone else.

      Women these days don’t think you’re a man, either.

  • Shawn

    Well said, and as a dude, with a beard, who has carried a firearm to break things and kill when necessary, i will not appologize for being what i am, a man.

  • kristenlamb

    As a Scandinavian female who applies the “Shield Maiden Parenting” for my boy, HOOYAH! We are rearing a generation of PC pansies. As a mother of a preschool-age boy, I get furious with the cartoons for our little ones, where Dad is a hopeless fat, idiot doof who has to call Mom to the rescue as if he’s one of the kids. We’ve taught that being an Alpha is somehow bad and made boys and men apologize for being male, and strong females be made to feel as if they are strange for preferring martial arts over cheerleading.

    We are rendering males inept and inert and teaching girls that they need to be Mommy at home with the kids AND their spouse, and it’s wrong. Women should be proud to be women and men to be men.

    And yes, my boy might call on Mom but only because she has the ammo stockpile ;).

  • MasonMaurer

    FINALLY!!! I’ve been saying this for years. Actual Men are rare these days. Most adult males are beta at best. Bunch of boys playing at being men. For Alphas these day the battle field has changed. In most cases…. It’s the cube farm, the court room, the board room or the market place in general. For others the ring or cage.

  • Art Reynolds

    VIKING LAWS:

    1: BE BRAVE AND AGGRESSIVE:
    – BE DIRECT
    – GRAB ALL OPPORTUNITIES
    – USE VARYING METHODS OF ATTACK
    – BE VERSATILE AND AGILE
    – ATTACK ONE TARGET AT A TIME
    – DON’T PLAN EVERYTHNG IN DETAIL
    – USE TOP QUALITY WEAPONS

    2: BE PREPARED:
    – KEEP WEAPONS IN GOOD CONDITIONS
    – KEEP IN SHAPE
    – FIND GOOD BATTLE COMRADES
    – AGREE ON IMPORTANT POINTS
    – CHOOSE ONE CHIEF

    3: BE A GOOD MERCHANT:
    – FIND OUT WHAT THE MARKET NEEDS
    – DON’T PROMISE WHAT YOU CAN’T KEEP
    – DON’T DEMAND OVERPAYMENT
    – ARRANGE THINGS SO THAT YOU CAN RETURN

    4: KEEP THE CAMP IN GOOD ORDER:
    – KEEP THINGS TIDY AND ORGANIZED
    – ARRANGE ENJOYABLE ACTIVITIES WHICH STRENGTHEN THE GROUP
    – MAKE SURE EVERYBODY DOES USEFUL WORK
    – CONSULT ALL MEMBERS OF THE GROUP FOR ADVICE

  • Brian Steele

    Awesome stuff, loved this article

  • David

    or the asians were better at the art of warfare and saw past the need to be massive while remaining tough as nails and unconquerable. I mean… sure if you just wanna look big go hard on your man diet.

    Really enjoy your articles but please please do more research before throwing out racist shit like that.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Don’t be a goof. It’s not politically correct, but it ain’t racist. Look at nutrition – and look at what I said damnit, NO commentary on their spirit, their warriors, their culture, who they are, just a simple statement about diet and how it shows itself on the physique.

      Studies are showing that we’re DE-volving. The thin noses that white people have limit our ability to take in air and is believed to be an evolutionary trait brought on by the introduction of grains into our diets (watch The Perfect Human Diet, great film, lot’s to learn from it).

      It’s important to look at different cultures and how they’re effected by their diets to determine which diets are best for us. Simple. Not racist, just not overly sensitive like you seem to be. So untie the not in your panties and take the comments for what they are: a look at how the Asian diet effects their body, namely the high glycemic carbs and soy.

      The Viking diet was high in fish and low glycemic carbs and very seasonal. It seems to be a healthier diet. Are they better humans? Hell no, and that isn’t even mentioned. Was their diet better? YES.

      Clear things up for you?

  • Preston Wigginton

    I have lived this way all my life …my competition in business was my enemy and I put many of them out. After 30 years though its time to do some fishing..

  • Jonathan Besler

    What’s your point of claiming that Asian cultures created those martial arts? Are you attempting to suggest Whites are inferior? If the “when” and “how” these fighting arts were developed is…completely irrelevant, why even post your comment? Just sounds like a bunch of anti-White BS that relies on lies and equivocation to even attempt to make a point.

    • Zach Johnson

      hahaha stop whining like a little bitch you sound like Al Sharpton

  • Joe

    This isn’t about masculinity – women have all the qualities this article mentioned and often even more so in some cases. This is about how to live your life in general. Why do we attribute these things to being “a man”? I don’t know of a single woman whose been successful who doesn’t also exhibit these qualities. I know plenty of hard working moms who are tough as nails. The bottom line is there’s no such thing as masculinity? It’s a cultural myth. Nothing is inherently masculine or feminine until some cultural taboo says it is. In reality, all qualities simply are what tey are, and a healthy mix of qualities is what’s necessary to succeed – just ask the women business leaders.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Indeed. And the answer is very simple.

      The site tagline is “bringing back masculinity”. It’s not that these are male-only characteristics, it’s that the site is focused on men, thus, we use masculine language and WE TALK ONLY TO MEN. Women love these articles as well, and many of them can see the title of the site and understand how to change the language to fit their lives, they don’t feel the need to fight the wording, while others do.

      Yes, many of these are masculine and feminine characteristics simply involving success. The site is focused toward men, so that’s who we talk to.

      That make sense? And are we being exclusive? Yes. But read my comments, I encourage women to be here as well, I’m just not going to change the voice of the site to be more inclusive, not my goal. Yet, at least.

  • maya

    This article is great! Although I am a woman, I believe that our society needs to take a step back and learn from the wisdom of the past. Also, as a viking by blood ( 100% swedish), I really feel a connection to these ideas and values. Keep up the good work!